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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Saturday, November 1

Cowboy Poetry - The Sierry Petes

As I was "parusin' " my favorite blogs tonight...one of my favorite people in blogworld Aunty Belle (From the Front Porch)...the Back Porch is a LOT of fun too...had a post that included a cowboy poem called "Hellbound Train". Who knew Aunty Belle liked cowboy/cowpoke poetry?

I immediately thought of another local that I love dearly just because he is who he is :) Tim the Poet we'll call him. Hanging out over a few years on the rare occasion I actually drink IN a bar instead of at home anymore...but we hung out there a lot at one time...he's touched my life with humor, goodness, badness, and orneriness for a long time. He's a cowboy poet in a true sense though, and he used to recite this one to me...

In fact, he was SO GOOD at it, and would recite it with such conviction, flavor, and perfection... that when anybody "new" that would come to "our bar" and we would all have a good time with... I would make him "do it again!" I made him write it down for me once, but I can't copy & paste from an old piece of bar paper :)

I did that to Tim SO MANY TIMES and he complied with grace...it became a joke between all of us that hung out there...that when a new "cool" person would frequent, Tim would come over and whisper in my ear..."don't make me do it again :)" ...Tim I Miss You :)

Thanks Aunty Belle for reminding me that there's more to life than politics these days and poetry on any level is something much taken for granted in today's society!

I present to you...

Sierry Petes (or, Tying Knots in the Devil's Tail)

Written by Gail Gardner in 1917

This Title USED to be a link to CowboyPoetry.com

Well, apparently, the folks at CowboyPoetry.com don't see the justice in spreadin' around the love for cowboy poetry in its truest sense. I got a rather abrupt e-mail back from them when I noticed upon proofreading this original post a disclaimer about publishing. I asked nicely for permission...NOPE... I was offered the "opportunity" to request the address of the Estate of Gail Gardner so as I could ask THEM for permission. They got a little antsy too 'bout the photo I put above of Gail Gardner (which can be obtained in LOTS of places through Google Images). They said if I REMOVED my published content, I was welcome to leave a LINK to the poem...anyway...fine.

"I didn't mean to ruffle any body's feathers or "start no copyright war up in here"." I just wanted to write a nice tribute to my friend Tim and carry on Mr. Gardner's legacy as I'm sure he would have appreciated by quoting the poem in it's original form that was copyrighted at the Library of Congress copyright entry Class AA, No. 192120. I don't have time nor desire to request the address of the estate of Mr. Gardner (I'm sure they would have approved of the story), I just wanted to fly off a sweet tribute to Tim.

So...I found a "different" version (one more often heard) of the poem at a website that DOES appreciate the spreading of the love of Cowboy Poetry (Sam-Hane.com) and YES I read their disclaimer. (If you're ever really bored and want to read some hysterical legal mumbo jumbo...check out their disclaimer page!)

I'm probably breaking some other kind of rule here too...all unintentional I assure you. I'll e-mail them and if I get another abrupt e-mail ...I'll remove it again :( If YOU are curious as to the original copyrighted version...YOU go to cowboypoetry.com and read it for yourself.

In the spirit of fairness...YES I DO understand copyright law. I DO REALIZE that cowboypoetry.com doesn't have the "right" to give me permission to "reprint" something exactly verbatim that it would only take one a simple click to let a page load and "read the exact same thing"...problem is...most readers DON'T take time to "click", and without the content, the story is lost. They checked back to see that the content was removed, it was, and I appreciate them taking the time to respond again. It's just too bad that when writing a story intending to quote something as accurately as you can...in an honorable way...folks get all bent up over a "click". It's the way it is though, and I respect their stance.

I've been blogging for over two years now...I've NEVER had anybody tell me NO when I asked for permission to honor their script. I can take no though, and with grace. But now...you'll have to look up the original version yourself because copy and paste violated a policy...sad fact is...if I'd never done the right thing in the first place...nobody would probably have ever found this post anyway. But I did the right thing and I respect policy.

Speaking of clicks...if you try to copy & paste on this blog, a "copyright" block appears. That too was a feature available with a simple click on a free blog. Misunderstandings or questionable pirating could easily be avoided with such a feature on their website too.

Sierry Petes - Tyin Knots In The Devil's Tale

Way high up in the Sierry Petes
Where the yellow-jack pines grow tall,
Old Sandy Bob and Buster Jiggs
Had a round-up camp last fall.

Well they took their horses and their running irons
And maybe a dog or two,
And they 'lowed thy'd brand every long-eared calf
That came within their view.

Now every little long-eared dogie
That didn't hush up by day,
Got his long ears whittled and his old hide scorched
In a most artistic way.

One fine day, says Buster Jiggs,
As he throws his seago down,
"I'm tired of cow-pie-graphy
And I think I'm a goin' town."

Well they saddled up, and they hit a lope
For it wasn't much of a ride,
And them was the days that an old cow-hand
Could oil up his old insides.

Well they starts her out at the Kaintuck Bar,
At the head of the Whisky Row,
And they wound her up at the Depot House
About forty drinks below.

Well they sets 'em up and they turns around
And they goes the other way,
And to tell you the Lord-forsaken truth
Them boys got drunk that day.

They was on their way, goin' back to camp
A-packin' that awful load,
When who should they meet but the Devil himself
Come a-prancin' down the road.

Now the Devil he says, "You cowboy skunks
You better hunt your hole,
'Cause I've come up from Hell's rim rock
Just to gather in your souls.

Says Buster Jiggs, "We're back from town,"
"And feelin kinda tight;
But you ain't gonna get no cowboys' souls
Without some kinda fight."

Now Buster Jiggs could ride like hell
And throw a lasso, too,
So he threw it over the Devil's horns
And he took his dallies true.

Now Sandy Bob was a reata man
With his gut-line coiled up neat;
But he shook her out and he builds a loop
And he roped the Devils hind feet.

Well they stretches him out and they tails him down
While the irons were getting hot,
And they cropped and swallow-forked his ears
And they branded him up a lot.

Well they pruned him up with a dehorning saw,
Tied knots in his tail for a joke,
Then they went off and left him there
Tied up to a blackjack oak.

Now when you're high in the Sierry Peaks
And you hear one hell of a wail,
Well you know it ain't nothin but the Devil himself
Raisin' Hell about the knots in his tail.

These may not be the exact words that Mr. Gardner
wrote, but this is how I learned it.

Whiskey Row still exists in Prescott, Arizona, and is
a fine place on the Fourth of July.